Horizon Line

The origin of the word “horizon” is from the Greek horizōn kylos or “dividing circle” and is the immaterial instant of separation between earth and sky. In the same way that a horizon divides space the present moment divides time. Horizon Line uses the illusion of the physical horizon created by the LEDs, the structure of the seed drying facility, and the other visual elements to make visible the past, present, and future of the site. By sitting in the canoe visitors do not just be observe this exposition of time, but participate in its exposition.

Horizon Line was a site-specific installation artwork commissioned for a dormant seed drying facility. The work occupied a windowless cinderblock room that was 61 feet long, 12 feet tall, and 8 feet wide. In the center of this space sat a canoe constructed of reclaimed barn lumber that was milled in the 1850's. A thin strip of color-controllable LEDs ran along the walls lighting the space. These lights were diffused through two overlapping layers of newspaper. The layer closest to the LEDs had a torn top edge that cast a shadow against the outer layer that resembled the gently irregular landscape surrounding the space. When seated in the canoe this strip of light appeared to extend beyond the physical walls of the space and was an illusion of the natural horizon. An exterior camera with a fish-eye lens grabbed the realtime color of actual horizon and transmitted it to the strip of LEDs.


This work was funded by a grant from the Center for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities at Iowa State University.